Verbose messaging about why public key auth was rejected

Ryan Findley ryan at
Wed Jan 31 05:24:30 EST 2007

I had a small battle with public key authentication today at the end  
of which I realized that the problem was the permissions on my home  
directory (previously I though ~/.ssh was all that mattered. You  
learn something new every day!).

While I was trying to track this problem down, I used ssh -v and sshd  
-ddd to get as much information as possible about why my public key  
wasn't working, and neither mentioned that it was a simple  
permissions issue.

My question: is there a way to have ssh and/or sshd tell you WHY a  
public key is being rejected (specifically the permissions thing)?
If so, can someone point me at a good document? I'm using OpenSSH  
3.9p1 under RHEL4 (at the moment) and can upgrade if it's in a newer  
If not, would the OpenSSH team consider adding this feature? I'm  
betting I could probably manage the changes necessary, and submit a  

-ryan findley

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